Vyncyn's sprites

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Short colour lesson

Postby Vyncyn » April 16th, 2017, 10:25 am

I'm propably not telling anything new to veteran pixelartist, but since I've been experimenting a bit with colours in the last few days, I thought to share my findings.
Some of the newer mainline sprites (eg. Firedragon, mudcrawler, elvish outrider) use a lot of shades you (at first) wouldn't expect.
For example the Firedragon has purple and greenish hues, while the elvish armor consists of yellow and blue colours.
Additionally some shades can be used for very different surfaces.

Here I made a white dress with the same colours as the elvish armor (2 blueish shades, bright yellow and white)
fairy.png
shading isn't complete, so it's best to ignore hands and wings
fairy.png (1.08 KiB) Viewed 322 times

The whole fairy is made out of only 12 colours (not counting magenta). Hair,skin,dress,shoes and staff reuse the same shades with various different effects.

I was trying to make a palette, which would look good on many different sprites. Though I only partially succeded, I've put togehter this 36 coulour palette (including 5 magenta hues, shadow, and transparent background). It is far from perfect. Some shades will hardly be useful, while many better ones are still missing, but I think it's a good start.
colours.png
colours.png (324 Bytes) Viewed 322 times


Finally, here are some changes I made to my units, to show you the effect of the palette.
result.png
result.png (4.84 KiB) Viewed 322 times

The top-right one has only 13 colours (around 18 with magenta and shadow), while the old one had about 30 (including TC). As you might see (or not), the armor looks hardly different (from afar), even though I completly changed the colours from grey to green,brown and blue. All shades are included in the palette.
The bottom right one was a bit unfortunate. The brown shirt couldn't be replaced with colours from the palette, so I only made changes to hood, weapons and skin. As a sidenote: the face is a bit greyish and sickly, but this was a pure artistically choice; the palette inclued several shades for a pinker skin.
It is arguably which sprites look better; the point of this was more to see the effect different colours can have on a image.

Especially darker shades can be changed (to green or purple) to give the sprite a nice undertone without changing to much.
Lighter shades can look better with yellow or blue.
Shadows on a surface might look better when you use another colour insted of just a darker hue. Here are some good pairings (imo): Red/brown/orange -> purple shadow
Grey/black -> blue/green shadow
Gold/yellow -> red/brown shadow

TL;DR: Colours can be changed :eng:
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Re: Vyncyn's sprites

Postby Crow_T » April 16th, 2017, 7:51 pm

Nice post here, I think these kind of useful tidbits would be good additions to the wiki- eventually this post will get buried.
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Re: Vyncyn's sprites

Postby Vyncyn » April 17th, 2017, 11:24 am

wiki page has been created https://wiki.wesnoth.org/Choosing_your_palette .
It isn't complete yet, since I want to do some more testing before adding the rest.
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Re: Vyncyn's sprites

Postby taptap » April 17th, 2017, 4:50 pm

Really appreciate that someone is still talking technically about sprites. Thanks Vyncyn. The low color count units are so much easier to modify (animate too, I guess) and work with in general. When you look at some custom units that are sliding scales with hundreds of colors ... this becomes painfully obvious. One thing that would help me reduce color count in my experiments would be if I could do wood, leather and dark skin with one palette instead of three, with maybe a few different highlights, but I can't.

The unusual colors in the fire dragons are for the most part not there for lower count, variety and reuse, however, but are likely complementary (greens) and warmth (purples) contrasts to emphasize the red/orange tones. I believe there was a page on the wiki talking about these things once, but all the explanation images are gone now.
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Re: Vyncyn's sprites

Postby Vyncyn » April 18th, 2017, 6:39 am

taptap wrote:One thing that would help me reduce color count in my experiments would be if I could do wood, leather and dark skin with one palette instead of three, with maybe a few different highlights, but I can't.


This gave me a great idea. I'll work a bit on it and post results later.
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Re: Vyncyn's sprites

Postby Vyncyn » April 18th, 2017, 4:09 pm

Changed the wiki article. I removed the bit about shadows for now.

I created 3 new units, trying to minimize the number of needed brown tones.
Spoiler:


If anyone has aditional ideas about shading, you can share them here and I'll try to cover it in the wiki. (or edit it yourself if you have an wiki account)
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Re: Vyncyn's sprites

Postby taptap » April 18th, 2017, 4:57 pm

The shaman looks great as is. The others could probably use more color ;) Nice study in minimalism.

I find it amazing how the violet (aubergin) and orange work out on the shaman trousers. And I finally see that "metal" look is not palette but mostly lighting.
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Re: Vyncyn's sprites

Postby The_Gnat » April 18th, 2017, 11:47 pm

Good. I like your sprites, particularly the night princess and flaming arrow archer! Would you post the archer and fairy with a transparent background so it could be easily used?
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Re: Vyncyn's sprites

Postby Vyncyn » April 19th, 2017, 5:57 am

Sure, but fairy is partly unshaded and I do not plan to finish it, as it was just made to test some shading.
Attachments
fairy.png
fairy.png (1.28 KiB) Viewed 75 times
archer.png
archer.png (1.46 KiB) Viewed 75 times
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Re: Vyncyn's sprites

Postby The_Gnat » April 19th, 2017, 6:24 am

Thank you! It is hard to use sprites with the green background. What tool do you use to remove it?
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Re: Vyncyn's sprites

Postby Vyncyn » April 19th, 2017, 7:10 am

Just a selection tool and then "strg+x". Not every image editor has this though, but you can download some editors for free (for example paint.net or gimp)
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Re: Vyncyn's sprites

Postby The_Gnat » April 19th, 2017, 8:11 am

Okay thanks, I find it is faster just to create the sprites on a transparent background in gimp.
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